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We supply the right vinyl masters

We all know that digital media can store and convey sound one-to-one. Vinyl records cannot do this because a whole range of technical limitations cause changes to occur in the recorded and reproduced sound. Surprisingly, it is precisely these technical shortcomings that contribute to the harmonious sound quality of the vinyl disc. However, taking successful advantage of this phenomenon means walking a fine line. To walk this tightrope safely, we prepare dedicated vinyl masters for disc cutting.

Vinyl records are works of art

The sound of vinyl is an aesthetic that we have collectively learned to love over the decades. It is a world of sound that is quite different to that of live music. And we have associated it with recorded music since time immemorial. This is appreciated to such an extent that digital audio processing, which comes closer to the way music actually sounds, is perceived by many as being lifeless. Forty years of digital audio and compact dis0cs have failed to surpass the legendary and almost archetypal sound of vinyl.

Modern vinyl masters

To ensure your record pressing sounds the way you expect, we use strategies specifically designed for vinyl mastering. The first challenge is that music is no longer primarily produced for the technical medium of the vinyl record. In addition, knowledge of the corresponding recording methods and mechanical processing procedures is no longer as widespread in our industry as it was in the heyday of the vinyl record.

For example, some modern music can only be transferred to lacquer or copper plate with difficulty and a great deal of expertise. Somewhat ironically, this problem often affects precisely those genres that tend to favour vinyl for artistic and aesthetic reasons. It makes the life of the cutting engineer a great deal easier when we succeed in creating a vinyl master that combines great sound and technical feasibility.

Creating vinyl euphony

The mechanical processes that take place during cutting, electroplating and pressing not only produce the harmonious vinyl sound we know and love but can unfortunately also result in sound modifications that are regarded as unpleasant by the listener. The sound will no longer be perceived as pleasurable if sound colouration, distortion or surface noise get out of hand. Aside from this, everyone knows records that seem strangely flat and anodyne compared to their digital counterparts.

Fortunately, we have a sound engineering repertoire that allows us to address precisely these problems. A further aspect of our work is to emphasise the acoustic strengths of the vinyl record by making targeted adjustments to the audio material. For both these aspects, we follow tried-and-tested approaches and use expertise from both classic analogue production and effective software-supported techniques.

vinyl masters for best possible record cutting

Our sound engineering techniques allow us to prepare your work in such a way that it can withstand a transfer to lacquer or copper with only minimal losses and sonic artifacts. This is important because after the mastering comes the vinyl record cutting, which is the qualitative bottleneck of the vinyl manufacturing chain; this initial mechanical translation is the primary cause of fidelity loss.

We keep the data for the master in the highest possible resolution, which means that our vinyl master has a higher resolution than, for example, a CD pre-master. Together with the technical documentation, we send this final dataset to your cutting studio or upload it directly to the pressing plant’s server.

This series of procedures allows us to fulfil all the prerequisites for seamless production and a high-quality finished product. In the end, you will be able to enjoy a pressed vinyl record that is just as you expected: with a clear and smooth sound, intact dynamics and well-controlled artifacts.

Your benefits at a glance

  • Vinyl masters with impressive sound
  • Masters that are optimised for the cutting process
  • Use of outstanding audio technology
  • Perfect studio acoustics ensure neutral sound
  • Expert knowledge in analogue audio
  • Standard recording industry workflows
  • Communication with cutting studio and pressing plant
  • We check your test pressing
  • We share our expertise in a technical demanding field

Get a quote

Use this form to request a quotation for the mastering of your project. Please tell us something about the artist, the work and the technical circumstances surrounding the production. Your personal assessment is also very important to us.

    Master & Servant GmbH

    Schlachthofstrasse 36B
    D-21079 Hamburg

    Tel 0049 (0)40 - 25 60 44

    0049 (0)40 - 25 60 44